Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Smart Words on the Price of Ebooks

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Author Catherynne Valente posted a thoughtful entry on the subject 99 cent ebooks. (Be sure to read the comments.) The money (if you'll pardon the pun) quote:
You pay 5.99 for a mocha, dude. Why would you not pay it for a book?
John Scalzi responded with a nifty Electronic Publishing BINGO card. The comment thread following contains even more suggestions for the card.

Of course, I've been ranting about this for a long time (and I know I'm not alone). Writers and artists are generally undervalued. They always have been. Anyone can write! 

Oh, it would be nice to just take an "if you build it, they will come" attitude, but that doesn't work. (Particularly when looking at my readership stats. Thanks to both of you who have stuck around.)

So let me turn this around. Should my husband get paid a buck for the project he's been working on for months? Of course, not. Should I pay the barista a buck for that mocha? After all, all those mochas add up. Oh, but the mocha has actual ingredients and they have to pay for the rent, and the machine, and wages for the barista.

How in the hell is a writer any different? I have a computer, and Internet connection, and a home office. I have bills, just like the barista. Shouldn't I be compensated fairly for my work? And yeah, art (and writing) is different. But what about writing for hire? I run into this all the time. People want me to write for free, and they'll gladly pay me Tuesday when they start to make money. After all, with my talent, and their knack for making a buck, I should be rolling in it any day now! Yep, as soon as I can gladly pay the barista, the mortgage company, the grocery store, the electric company, my ISP, and the college my son attends on Wednesday, you can pay me on Tuesday. How's that?

Tags: Writing  Publishing

Filed under: Writing   Publishing         
3/20/2011 12:41:57 PM
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